CfP: Feminists Confront State Violence (ZS Radical History Review); by: 01.06.2022

Radical History Review; Co-Edited by Anne Gray Fischer, Sara Matthiesen, and Marisol LeBrón (Web)

Proposals by: 01.06.2022

Radical History Review seeks proposals for feminist analyses that explore how communities have conceptualized, negotiated, and challenged structures of state violence. Historically, people on the front lines of a range of historical and contemporary struggles have exposed how state violence operates in the lives of women and vulnerable populations through forms of active harm as well as organized abandonment. Spectacular forms of state violence, such as religious persecution, enslavement, colonial dispossession, genocide, sterilization, policing, and human caging coexist alongside formal and informal practices of state neglect that harm and kill by refusing to cultivate healthy, safe, and dignified lives for all. In the face of the violence of the (pre-)modern state, many people have developed strategies of survival, care, and reproduction that aim to reduce harm such as mutual aid projects, intentional communes, and worker collectives.
These efforts can, however, be quickly overwhelmed by the enormous scope of need created by state neglect. Ironically, modern-day global emergencies – from femicide in Latin America and medical apartheid in the Global South to the climate catastrophe worldwide – expose the unique capacity of the state to respond on a massive scale to its own harms and failures. Feminist scholars, then, have identified a formidable contradiction: how to make demands for the equitable distribution of care, safety, and life on a (pre-)modern state that unequally distributes violence, immiseration, and death?
The editors invite feminist contributions that examine how communities have historically negotiated the difficult contradiction of making reparative demands on a violent state. In particular, they are interested in pieces that draw from surprising examples and unexpected archives in order to show efforts to deliver care, organize practices of survival, and foster societal transformation while laboring under conditions of structural violence; and to ask what alternative visions of social organization such struggles have produced.
This issue aims to create a feminist archive of campaigns, tactics, frameworks, and circumstances that illuminate how people have named, analyzed, and struggled against the multiscalar and capacious nature of regimes of violence across all time periods, geographic contexts, and conceptions of governance. Some topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • The interrelationship between state abandonment and state violence
  • Crime, punishment, anti-carceral projects, and abolitionism
  • Indigenous, decolonial, and anti-colonial projects
  • Natural disaster, famine, and environmental crisis
  • Gender-based and transphobic violence, serial murders, and femicide
  • Migration and contests over borders
  • Riot, rebellion, revolution, and war
  • Struggles between capital and labor, especially around reproductive labor
  • Electoral politics, suffrage, and disenfranchisement

The RHR publishes material in a variety of forms. We welcome submissions that use images as well as text. In addition to conventional research articles, we encourage submissions to our various departments, including Historians at Work; Teaching Radical History; Public History; Interviews; (Re)Views and The Abusable Past. The editors encourage contributions from historically under-represented groups.

Procedures for submission of articles: By June 1, 2022, please submit a one-page abstract summarizing the article as an attachment to with “Issue 148 Abstract Submission” in the subject line. By July 15, 2022, authors will be notified whether they should submit a full version of their article for peer review. The due date for full-length article submissions will be in November 2022. Please send any images as low-resolution digital files embedded in a Word document along with the text. If chosen for publication, you will need to supply high-resolution image files (at a minimum of 300 dpi) and secure permission to reprint the images. Those articles selected for publication after the peer review process will be included in issue 148 of the Radical History Review, scheduled to appear in January 2024.

Abstract Deadline: June 1, 2022